BY ISN STAFF | May 17, 2016
MILWAUKEE, WI — Marquette University announced this week an ambitious plan to increase the school’s Hispanic student enrollment by more than 15 percent over the next 10 years. The move will position the Catholic, Jesuit university to be designated a Hispanic-serving institution.
To be named an HSI and therefore eligible for grants from the Department of Education, a college or university must have at least a 25-percent Hispanic enrollment total — Marquette’s current Hispanic enrollment is around 9.5 percent.“The U.S. population is more than 17 percent Hispanic, and that figure is projected to increase to nearly 30 percent by 2050,” said Dr. Daniel Myers, Marquette University provost. “We must keep pace with this shifting demographic.”
Further, Myers noted that Hispanic high school graduates in Wisconsin and Illinois have doubled in the past 10 years and will double again in three to four years. He also pointed to the Catholic makeup of Hispanics in the U.S., which is approximately 75 percent.
Hispanic Serving-Institution a First in Region
There currently are no HSI designation schools in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Indiana or Ohio, and of the nine HSIs in Illinois, only one is Catholic.
“Marquette is a Catholic and Jesuit university, so part of our history and our mission calls us to provide a higher education to first-generation college students, particularly those from immigrant families,” Myers added. “Furthermore, one of our strategic plan goals is around creating a culture of inclusion — if Marquette is to be a leading university, we need to diversify our student body.”
According to Myers, Marquette is now in the process of forming an advisory council, as well as hiring for a strategic Hispanic recruitment and outreach position and an additional Spanish-speaking admissions counselor.